Policy, Intelligence, and the Billion-Dollar Petroglyph   [open pdf - 130KB]

The pressure for corporate intelligence consensus is as great as the pressure for corporate policy consensus. The policy and intelligence processes are different but not separate. Intelligence is defined through analysis, and policy is defined through implementation. New policy can focus intelligence analysis, and new intelligence may influence policy changes. The relationship is dynamic, and exchanges are not necessarily sequential but invariably interactive. This interaction is not always harmonious; indeed, often it is a troubled road characterized by the need for reduction, the intrusion of bias, and the vagaries of a vast collection and processing subculture. Too often the policy/intelligence relationship, particularly in the defense establishment, is viewed idealistically, and this romantic view undermines the very process of effective interaction. Ideally, policy and intelligence are collegial partners in pursuit of larger national security goals. In practice, intelligence is somewhat of a junior partner with, what may be, a self-imposed image problem. Traditional suggestions for improving the quality of military intelligence support to the national security debate have focused on resource augmentation. Improved outcomes are inexorably, and often inexplicably, tied to more dollars and more sophisticated collection technology. This document discusses what would improve intelligence most in the defense arena. There are three shifts in emphasis that require little or no new resources: a better understanding of the corporate personality of policymakers; a recognition of the role that bias plays in policy formulation and intelligence analysis; and a change in the image of the intelligence process, coupled to an upgrade in the stature of intelligence managers.

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